Jennifer Chandler has reopened her café, Cheffie's, in the shopping center near where the Greenline meets High Point Terrace. The original Cheffie's Market and More, in East Memphis, closed 10 years ago.
"This past year I was approached by Matt Wilson of Swanky's Taco Shop," Chandler says. "He had been approached by Charlie McVean who owns the bike shop [Cruiser's High Point Hub], and they wanted to have a café next door. They said, 'Since Swanky's is all about building your tacos and burritos just the way you like them, and you know sandwiches and salads, let's partner together to bring Cheffie's back to life.'"
The new Cheffie's features the same motto as its former incarnation: "Be the chef at Cheffie's." Build-your-own salads and sandwiches are the core of the menu. Choose from arugula, baby spinach, romaine, and mixed greens as a base for your salad and top it off with a selection of meats, vegetables, olives, nuts, and homemade dressings. Sandwiches can be made on a variety of Le Brea breads (country white, wheat, multigrain, ciabatta, and soft white) with Boar's Head meats and cheeses.
There also are a number of signature salads and sandwiches for those who prefer to leave the assembly up to the chefs.
Specialty vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items are marked accordingly on the menu. Chips, potato and pasta salads, and cookies and dessert bars accompany the entrée options. Old fans of Cheffie's will be glad to hear that the giant Rice Krispy treats, sun-dried tomato hummus, and egg and chicken salads will be available once more. A gelato bar with 14 different flavors rounds out the dessert offerings.
Chandler is working on getting the Project Green Fork certification and using as many local ingredients as possible. She has sourced her pecans from Delta Pecans, hydroponic tomatoes from Micmak Farms, and coffee from Ugly Mug. Ghost River beer is available on tap along with an assortment of imported and domestic bottles. Wines on the menu come from Grateful Palate Wines and North Berkeley Imports — a wine retailer based in California but owned by a Memphian.
Cheffie's is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sandwiches and salads run between $6 and $8. Chandler says she hopes to catch the morning workout groups for a breakfast of coffee, muffins, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, and fresh fruit.
"We're on the Greenline. We're hoping that when people have been biking or exercising they'll want something healthy and delicious to eat, and they'll come by our shop," she says. "We also want to be a neighborhood café, so we tried to think of all the things we would want in our neighborhood."
Cheffie's Café, 483 High Point Terrace (202-4157)
Josh Belenchia, formerly of Interim, has taken his talents to Mississippi. After three-and-a-half years at the popular East Memphis restaurant, Belenchia opened Buon Cibo (Italian for "good food") in Hernando earlier this month.
"I live in Hernando, and I've been commuting for about five years," Belenchia says. "This place is three minutes from my house, and this town was in need of a new restaurant and a new spin on things. I'm trying to bring that to the table."
Buon Cibo is in the former location of Docs. Already outfitted with a pizza oven, the space was perfect for a pizza and sandwich joint. "I didn't really want to do fine dining. I designed my menu around the equipment that was here," Belenchia says.
As much as possible, Belenchia is sourcing his produce, meats, eggs, and dry goods from local suppliers. He serves a Heritage Farmworks bratwurst, uses local honey in his pizza dough, brews McCarter coffee, and offers a Buon Cibo retail "pantry" full of local dry goods for sale. His salad dressings are homemade; his chips are fried in-house; he makes his own corned beef for the Reuben; and the pizza dough is hand-tossed. All of the pizzas, sandwiches, soups, and salads are around $10 or less.
Pizzas are named after different towns in Mississippi. The Clarksdale is a barbecue chicken and goat cheese pizza. The Starkville is made with three-cheese sauce, sautéed mushrooms, arugula, and balsamic reduction. The Jackson is a smoked bacon, caramelized onion, and roasted sweet potato pizza. The coastal town Biloxi adds a tropical twist: pineapple, pickled red onion, ham, and jalapenos.
Imported beers and microbrews are available by the bottle. Desserts include a brownie-gelato sandwich and Nonna's homemade pies — based on recipes from Belenchia's mother. Buon Cibo is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Buon Cibo, 2631 McIngvale, Hernando, MS (662-469-9481)